H&M has announced it will increase its return fee to 1 euro per returned product, and H&M club members will no longer be exempt.
H&M is one of the fashion companies to add return fees to reduce the number of returns and associated costs in Europe, where free return policies have become an issue - even at the environmental level - with thousands of returned fashion items per month.
In fact, during 2022 in the UK, e-commerce returns cost reached the mark of £7bn and heavily impacted companies’ carbon footprints. In one single hour, during 2022 Christmas day, 709 products were returned online via ZigZag; showing an increase of 24%
Return fee policies vary between countries where H&M operates online. Belgian online shoppers already pay a fee of 1.95 euros (four cents less than in the Netherlands), except for Plus members.
In France, H&M charges a fee of 0.95 euros, but members do not have to pay for returns. The same applies to the United Kingdom market, where non-members must pay 1.95 British pounds. For German shoppers, returning items is still completely free, whether they are members or not.
Recently, in the Netherlands, Wehkamp announced a return fee cost of 0.5 euros, a decision taken to tackle the growing concern about how returns affect the carbon footprint and general logistics costs.
The online department store revealed at a conference that approximately five thousand fewer products are returned daily, which accounts for 10% of their total sales.
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